MSK Reform #5 Exerting Influence

This is the final section of the MSK Reform overview.


MSKR proposes a trusted communication infrastructure for private, professional discussions with accountable users and administrators 

The aim of this communication strategy is to improve evidence based practice and collaborative sharing of experience. For many osteopaths working on their own and in small practices this would be welcomed. A common complaint is clinical variation across MSK practice, it is hoped this would reduce that variation. 


MSKR will develop and support a credible network of media-trained MSK experts available to journalists, producers and broadcasters 

MSKR will host quarterly update sessions for journalists and other media personnel in which developments and insights in the field of MSK practice will be shared and accurate stories promoted  

If you have ever been frustrated by the messages given in health articles in the media, you are not alone. MSKR is working to ensure that evidence-based messages are shared. The media is a powerful voice in determining patients health fears and beliefs. Ensuring good quality, consistent messages are being heard could have a significant impact. In osteopathy there has been work in this regard with some practitioners undertaking media training, perhaps this is an opportunity for those practitioners to apply their skills. 


MSKR advocate the involvement of patients as equal partners in all MSK projects, organisations and research studies 

The GOsC is promoting the involvement of patients in practice development and wider policy development. They are continuing to develop their own patient group to provide input. It will be interesting to see the impact of involving patients in more MSK projects and research studies. 

MSKR propose further promotion of first-person patient advocacy and the sharing of public experiences with MSK care 

Several patients have become important voices on social media for improving practice, and helping practitioners to understand the patient perspective. I’m not aware of any osteopathic patients having such an impact but it would be great to see this. 


So that concludes my overview of the MSKR Manifesto for Reform. There is still the executive summary to consider but I’d be interested to hear your thoughts. The MSKR website has been holding votes on these policies to narrow them down to priorities for work in 2020.  Clearly a lot of people have been putting in an enormous amount of work to get this far. 

Do you think these policies will reform MSK care? Is this a movement you would like to engage in? Could osteopaths have a significant voice in this process? 

I’m very supportive of this drive to improving quality and consistency of MSK care. There are several areas where osteopathy as a profession is quite well equipped, e.g. with NCOR and our governance emphasis. There are also many opportunities for improving evidence based care and influencing education. More access to journals and good information resources will be very helpful. I know there is a lot of room for improvement in terms of incorporating more data collection and audit into practice to further enhance care.  There is a strong drive towards patient involvement in all aspects of healthcare – this is an area where osteopaths have an opportunity to be innovative in how they involve patients in practice.  

The document is revealing with regard to demonstrating issues in MSK professions with the HCPC and CQC and chartership. Overall it presents an exciting outlook for improving MSK practice, without being too constrictive. 

I look forward to seeing how these policies move from theory to practice. I’d love to engage with more osteopaths so we can apply these lessons to our profession and also take advantage of the invitation that has been made for us to participate in this MSK reform. 

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